TUC-organised march and rally is expected to bring to London tomorrow tens of thousands of people from across the UK.
The march and rally titled “A Future That Works”, will protest against the government’s austerity policies and call for an alternative economic strategy that puts jobs, growth and people first.
A particular focus of this year’s march will be trying to secure a better future for the UK’s young people, one million of whom are currently without work.
The TUC hopes that young people from across the country will make up a significant proportion of the marchers.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “The impact of spending cuts and the government’s obsession with austerity economics is hitting families hard in communities right across the UK. Life has become unbearably difficult for many people, especially those who have come to rely on essential public services which are now being cut back or axed, and households where a family member is without any or enough work.
“Austerity is failing and nowhere is this more visible than the plight of the million plus youngsters who are desperate for work but find themselves hunting for jobs in the toughest jobs market for a generation. Not only are these young people suffering, but their parents are too. The worry that their children may become part of a lost generation is causing great distress.”
Marchers will begin to assemble on the Victoria Embankment on the north bank of the Thames from 11am, between the Hungerford Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge.
Hundreds of coaches have been booked to transport people to London from Truro to Newcastle and unions have chartered special trains to bring people to the capital from all parts of England and Wales.
To see if there are still any spaces left on any of the various transport options, take a look at the False Economy website www.falseeconomy.org.uk/oct20
To avoid journey congestion, people who are coming on the march from outside London are urged to arrive from 11am. Marchers heading into town from London and the South East are advised to arrive slightly later and to head for the rear of the march via Blackfriars, St Paul’s or Southwark tube stations.
On Saturday the Twitter handle @futurethatworks will keep people updated as to where the rear of the march is located and which stations they should be aiming for to minimise the time needed to wait before they are able to join the march.
People with Android smartphones, iPhones and iPads can also download the TUC Live App for free to get logistical information, maps and resources as well as background information on the case against austerity. It can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store for iPhone, or Google Play for Android.
“A Future That Works” will be well stewarded, and the TUC is keen to make it as safe, accessible, and family-friendly as possible so the march gets the biggest possible turn-out from all those whose lives and communities are being damaged by the cuts and by the government’s economic policies.
The TUC is working closely with the Metropolitan Police and Westminster City Council on event safety.
The march will go along the Embankment until Westminster, turn up Whitehall, turn left at Trafalgar Square, go up Lower Regent Street, turn left along Piccadilly and finish at Hyde Park.
The rally in Hyde Park will start at 1.30pm and continue until 4pm. The rally will feature a number of speakers including TUC General Secretary Barber and TUC General Secretary Designate Frances O’Grady. Between the speeches there will be films and music from the stage.
To save people in Scotland and Northern Ireland a lengthy journey to London, the Scottish TUC and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ Northern Ireland Committee have organised their own “A Future That Works” marches and rallies on 20th October in Glasgow and Belfast. For details on all the events taking place this Saturday, visit www.afuturethatworks.org
To help promote attendance at the three “A Future That Works” events this Saturday, the TUC is offering prizes to the most amusing pieces of protest art that are uploaded to Make the March website between now and the end of Monday (22nd October). The five banners, costumes, poems, graphics or placards deemed the most amusing, creative and politically astute by the judging panel – which includes artist Bob and Roberta Smith, comedian Josie Long and the Daily Mirror’s Kevin Maguire – will each win £100.
The Make the March competition organisers don’t need the actual placards for the judges to make their decision. Instead people are being asked to upload photographs of their works of art to the website www.makethemarch.org.uk